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By Rakesh Gollen

Rakesh GollenBeing a graduate student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Long Island University, N.Y., I perceive AAPS as a one-of-a-kind scientific society that fulfills every need for scientific knowledge. And it also provides a platform with endless networking opportunities. Throughout graduate school, the best part of AAPS for me has been its customizable experience. Through various volunteer opportunities, one can either participate actively in a focus group or get involved in the process of reviewing abstracts for the annual meeting, all based on one’s area of interest. Apart from all other career enhancement activities, I am very excited about the AAPS mentoring program for all graduate and postdoctoral students, which can also be customizable based on the many different specialties in the pharmaceutical sciences. Today I would like to share my experience as a mentee in the AAPS Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmaceutics (PPB) section’s mentoring program.

Actively participating in the mentorship program greatly enhances the exchange of the most current scientific research information, and it also opens doors to endless opportunities for me to learn and grow as a professional, as well as for collaborations. As a graduate student with research interest in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics studies, I am working in the direction of patient-focused drug development. By joining the PPB mentoring program, I gained the knowledge, encouragement, and guidance to achieve my professional goals. Apart from this, I also get an opportunity to participate in the AAPS Targeted Drug Delivery and Prodrug focus group steering committee, which gives me the drive to keep my scientific knowledge current. I am very excited about my interaction with my mentor, whose encouragement and guidance always motivates me to go the extra mile in terms of learning. I am glad AAPS provides such opportunities for graduate students like me, as this program is preparing me to be a key team player and a fine leader to function with a multidisciplinary drug development team.

I hope that these firsthand experiences will motivate other graduate students to consider joining and participating in the mentorship program based on their research interest. Almost all of the AAPS sections have their own mentoring programs. From my experience as a mentee, I can say with confidence that active participation is one of the most important keys to personal growth and professional development.

If you are interested and want to reap the benefits from the mentorship program, I highly encourage you to enroll and participate for the enhancement of your career development. If you have experience and benefited from such program, please share your experience and advice below.

Rakesh Gollen is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Long Island University, with a major in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, under the supervision of Dr. David Taft. His research focus is on the predictions of pharmacokinetic parameters in special population, using the physiologically based pharmacokinetics modeling approach.